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January 31, 2011

Juan Borges

Written by Dena Evans
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Juan lives in Texas, where he has been working in the Houston area for the past four years as a composite engineer, repairing blades for windmills.   Juan has two kids, and will have been married for 10 years in June. Born in Venezuela, Juan originally came to the United States 13 years ago, first to complete his bachelor’s degree, where he studied aircraft engineering, and then onto a research position in El Paso before moving to the Houston area.

Coach: How did you start running?

JB: I have been running for several years - 17 years on and off.  The last three years, I said, “Ok, let’s make it more serious.”  My main motivation was my dad.  When I was a little kid, I saw him running, and said I want to run with him!  The same thing is happening with my little four year old.  My dad would let me win, and I enjoyed that, but when I was 16 or 17, I decided to start taking it a bit more seriously, and really started training with him….it was my time with him where I could ask questions and have a good conversation  It was very meaningful to share that with him.


Now, the only time I had to run is 4 or 5 in the morning.  I have been trying to keep it for fun, but now am getting a little more serious about the marathon. Now, it is more my personal time and I just disconnect from everything.  So the key for me is to enjoy the activity, but not have it as something forced.  Just for fun.

Coacy: Who is your running role model?

JB:  My dad. Definitely. No doubt.  He never had any serious health problems, so that is also another motivating factor to keep going as I hope to be the same way when I am his age.

Coach: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

JB:   Definitely the New York Marathon in 1994, my first marathon.  Now I have expectations for the second marathon, this Sunday [this interview took place prior to Sunday’s race, which he completed in a very even split 3:58].  After 16 years, I have to see how the age affects me!  A couple weeks ago, I did the Sugarland Half Marathon and it went really well.

Coach: What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

JB:  It was a really nice experience, and the reason is that when I started training a while ago, I used a simple formula my dad gave me:  do a third of the [race] distance a day, or double the distance in a week.  When I started training with FNF, I noticed that the dynamic was different, with different paces.  It makes it more fun as it was not always the same thing.  It really was a different approach and really good!

Coach: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

JB:  for the long ones, normally, I get a bagel with peanut butter two hours before the race and get some sports drink to make sure I am well hydrated.  I stretch to make sure I feel comfortable; for me the most important part is to feel relaxed.  I like all the adrenaline you have right before the race.

Coach: What is your favorite place to go for a run?

JB:  Really I enjoy whatever place I go to run.  I pay little attention to the outside actually.  I just concentrate on my run and don’t pay too much attention to the scenery.  Although, back home, my dad has a special route and I did that during my training as we were home for Christmas.  It was very hilly (it is really flat in Houston), and when I came back, my times really came down.  I live in a subdivision and run mostly in the dark, so I can’t really see much.  The route back home is 4 miles so you can even do it twice or whatever you need.

Coach: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

JB:  To be honest, I want to just keep running, and stay in good shape, and see if I get in the lottery for the [ING] New York City Marathon.  But to be honest with you, I just want to keep going and stay healthy

Last modified on September 12, 2011
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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